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President Xi: Trade with Australia can grow

Staff writer |
China and Australia have important shared interests and plenty of room for cooperation, President Xi Jinping said.

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His comments, made during a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the sidelines of the G20 summit, came a week after the Australian Senate passed landmark bilateral free trade agreement legislation.

On Nov 9, the Senate passed bills related to the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, paving the way for Australia to sign the agreement into law. The pact, signed in June, followed 10 years of negotiations between the two countries.

Xi said the two nations should push for the agreement to take effect at an early date. He also asked Australia to provide a fair investment environment for Chinese companies.

When the agreement is fully implemented, tariffs will be lifted on 95 percent of Australian exports, restrictions will be loosened on Chinese investments in Australia, and more visas will be granted for Chinese on working holidays.

The full list of benefits is much longer. Xi said he expects the two nations to cooperate well on defense and fight corruption together.

Turnbull told Xi his country is closely following China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) and is looking for more opportunities from China's innovation and urbanization.

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